Earlier this month, Sony Records launched Custommixcd.com, a
service that allows fans to legally set their own tracklist for
original compilations. Right now, Sony’s made available songs from
thirty-five Bob Dylan albums, as well as a number of rare and live
tracks, and fifty Train songs, including covers, rarities, and live
and studio versions. For $15 (plus shipping and handling), fans can
select any twelve tracks or seventy-eight minutes of music.
“The consumer can configure any track listing they want with
songs not available on any records,” said Mark Ghuniem, a Senior
Vice President at Columbia Records. “Imagine putting together a
whole album of live Dylan material that is totally unique.”
Before dragging and dropping tracks onto the finished disc,
buyers can listen to thirty-second preview samples. Several
different choices of cover art are also available, and the
completed disc is typically mailed out within one to two weeks.
Among the Dylan rarities now available include soundtrack songs
from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and
Touched by an Angel, as well as a live version of “Roving
Gambler” from Things Have Changed — Live and Unreleased.
Between one and three tracks from thirty-five Dylan albums are also
available, ranging from his 1962 self-titled debut to 2001’s
“Love and Theft”.
The Train material includes rarities such as the three non-album
tracks from the 2001’s Drops of Jupiter: “It’s Love,”
“Sharks” and “This is Not Your Life.” Other rarities are a cover of
Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” from the A Knight’s Tale
soundtrack and four live tracks (“Eggplant,” “I Am,” “If You Leave”
and “Train”) recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkley, California in
1998, but never commercially released in the U.S. Also available
are acoustic versions of the band’s most popular songs and the both
of their studio albums in their entirety.
“We’ll experiment with different configurations and offer
consumers more rare and unavailable material,” said a Sony
spokesperson. “If people like it, we’ll roll more artists’ material
out.” For now, however, Sony is concentrating on fattening up the
offerings from Dylan and Train.